Marine Commanders have rejected 100% of the 3,115 requests for religious exemption.

 

That’s right, zero exemptions have been granted.

 

To date, more than 200 Marines have been removed for refusing to comply and that number will only grow. Overall, 94 percent of the more than 182,000 active-duty Marines are fully vaccinated.

 

Several Marines who refuse to get the shot were granted anonymity by Fox News, so they could speak freely. They said they are witnessing a “political purge” that is forcing out the military’s “best and brightest” over deeply held beliefs they say are protected by the First Amendment.

 

“There’s something fundamentally wrong at this point with our nation’s leadership,” said a major with more than 17 years of active service. “We are facing an unconstitutional edict that I think is very targeted as a political purge, taking out some of the best and brightest soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and guardians from the Space Force.”

 

A lieutenant colonel with 19 years of active service said the Marine Corps is discharging service members “as fast as they can and as brutally as they can, damaging every Marine as much as they can on the way out.”

 

“The one message I got from the colonel above me was: ‘Tread very carefully, this is political, you will be crushed like an ant.’ And he told me that because he cares about me,” the lieutenant colonel said. “Do I want to continue serving in an institution that crushes people for bringing up reasonable points in defending their faith?”

 

One master sergeant said it seems that “the louder I speak the tighter the screws are turned against me.”

The Marines who spoke with Fox News said they were on the receiving end of a “blanket” denial of religious exemptions, with their applications being rejected without consideration. Eight separate letters of denial provided to Fox News were nearly identical, citing “military readiness” as the primary reason for rejection.

 

“I saw one package from a sergeant who had attached, like, 30 pages of material to substantiate why his belief was sincere, under no lawful obligation to do so,” the master sergeant said. “And then to have this as a response with no individual inquiry and just a generalized assertion of governmental interest is insulting.”

 

“On the religious side, this is absolutely a travesty what’s happening. People are getting blanket denials, they’re not addressing the individual concerns or beliefs of Marines who are submitting for religious accommodations, and I think that’s just horribly wrong. I honestly believe that they’re not really reading the packages.”

 

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